Feeding hens (fish) oil?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Sara9, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. Sara9

    Sara9 In the Brooder

    Aug 1, 2013
    I give our dogs and cats fish or cod liver oil in their food because it is good for their skin, fur, and nails, and since especially towards the end of their molt their feathers look so bad and it just seemed to me that maybe adding some oil would be good for them all around. Any thoughts? Would it be bad for them?
  2. carladababe

    carladababe Songster

    Nov 25, 2010
    Dixon, Missouri
    I have heard of lots of different treats and supplements given to chickens but I personally have not heard of this one. Logically I would think that the fish oil is good for mammals but not really necessary for the health of poultry. From what I've learned is that chickens get all the nutrients from their feed and the best supplements come from veggies, fruit and good quality scratch. Not to mention fresh clean water. All that said I'm about to take my daily vitamins that includes fish oil. [​IMG]
  3. pdirt

    pdirt Songster

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    I don't see a problem with it. I think it would be very good for them, most people probably don't do it due to cost. I'm not sure what the dosage would be. I know my daily human dose of cod liver oil is a 1/2 tsp. Not sure how that would compute for a 5lbs chicken!

    One of the reasons to feed CLO or fish oil is for the Omega-3's. We recently discovered that we have a weed that grows like nuts in our garden called purslane. It's actually fairly tasty as a salad green or in a stir-fry. But we have bags and bags of it (chicken feed bag sized!). So I tried giving some to the chickens and they liked it quite a bit. I dumped a (grocery-store size) bag of it on the ground and in a few days they had cleaned most of it up.

    I haven't considered feeding CLO to our chickens mostly due to cost and quality. Only a few generations ago, all cod liver oil was produced via fermentation. The livers were placed in a barrel and left to ferment ("rot") and the resultant nutritious oil was filtered off and bottled. It was shelf-stable without preservatives because it was preserved by the fermentation process. Nowadays CLO is 99.9% produced by either chemical or mechanical extraction. The natural vitamins are removed and then replaced with synthetic versions so they can put "400 units of Vit A & D" on the label. It's not feasible to test every single bottle of CLO for vitamin amounts so they remove them all and replace with known amounts. I'm a "nature knows best" sort of guy and so was thrilled to find one company who still makes CLO the old-fashioned way. Green Pastures is the company if you want to check them out.

    My point is that so far, I haven't found an affordable feed-grade source of cod liver oil yet. Maybe I haven't looked hard enough. Green Pasture does make their fermented cod liver oil available in feed grade, but it's still very spendy stuff. Perhaps if we had hundreds of chickens I could better justify the expense.
    msbee likes this.

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